If there is one thing we have learned recently it is that the public’s vote really does matter.
In the Wagga by-election, voters were able to oust the party that had held the seat for more than six decades in favour of an Independent candidate.
Voting is compulsory in Australia and fines apply for those who do not to have their say.
But imagine an election as important as the United States’ midterms in a country where it’s not compulsory to vote.
In Australia, voting is often seen as a way of disrupting our Saturday morning but in America, voters are proudly wearing stickers to indicate they have done the deed.
We take it for granted in Australia that we will visit the polls any time there is an election or by-election.
There are campaigns from individual candidates and much reported on why we should vote for individuals.
But there are no campaigns simply urging people to turn up at the polls, we assume we are already doing that.
Celebrities, residents and citizens took to social media in the past weeks to encourage people to vote in America.
Instead of pushing their latest film or song, most have just encouraged people to vote.
And perhaps it’s the true influence of celebrity or maybe Americans are just fed up with their current government, but people have listened.
Early numbers indicate a record number of voters and early results show that they have not gone for the traditional or likely candidates.
No matter if you live in a country where you’re forced to vote or merely just encouraged to, one thing remains the same.
If people are tired of their government, if they want change or they are scared of what their future holds, they will be heard.
The Democrat versus Republican stoush is as fabled as Labor versus Liberal in Australia, a battle we will likely witness again during next year’s federal election.
The message in both countries is clear though – if you’re dissatisfied, use your vote to do something about it.